The context around educational data is arguably different than data collected in consumer technology. In both K12 and Higher Ed, schools can sign up for services that students use directly, and in many of these cases student data is uploaded before students or parents are consulted. For example, if a teacher signs up for Remind, parents aren’t asked if their contact information gets shared as part of an “invite” feature. While many consumer tech apps include invite features, EdTech apps are used within a different context. When a student or a parent sees an app or an invite coming from a school or a teacher, there is a level of implied trust. Increasingly, the implicit trust that students and parents give schools and districts appears to be unearned.
Clever is an edtech platform that gives students a single sign-on to all of their learning applications and helps schools automatically keep those applications up-to-date with their student information systems. Ask most education companies about student data privacy, and they’ll try to duck the question. After all, what’s the upside, when another startup comes under fire for their handling of privacy every week?
We think about this differently at Clever, where we’re proud to stand behind our privacy policies. Clever co-founder Dan Carroll’s experiences as a former district tech director led him to hate the incomprehensibly opaque privacy policies that accompany school software. We wanted Clever to be a different type of company from the start – one that always put schools in control of their data. As a result, Clever’s privacy principles are crystal clear: Clever only collects data that schools explicitly share. Clever never shares data, except when instructed by a school. Schools always retain ownership of their data.